New Zealand’s $22-billion Superannuation Fund has pulled nearly $2 million worth of investment out of Barrick Gold, the world’s biggest gold miner citing its human rights and environmental record.
The Canada-based mining giant, which has a market capitalisation of C$21b (NZ$25b), didn’t meet the human rights and environmental standards of the UN Global Compact, said Anne-Maree O’Connor, the fund’s manager for responsible investment.
“Barrick’s mines in Papua New Guinea and Tanzania have experienced a series of security-related, environmental and community problems over a lengthy time period,” she said.
While the company had taken steps to make improvements, there was no practical remedy for the environmental impact of riverine tailings, and the fund’s view was that progress on resolving community grievances and security issues had been slow, she said.
The use of riverine tailings – disposing of mine wastes into rivers – breached international norms.
The Super Fund has sold the $1.8m of Barrick Gold shares and $78,824 in shares of African Barrick Gold shares from its global equity portfolio, it said in a statement.
Its decision follows a move by the Norwegian Pension Fund in 2009 to drop Barrick Gold on ethical grounds. The Norwegian fund cited Barrick’s involvement in the Porgera gold mine in Papua New Guinea, Mining Journal Online reported at the time.
Shares of Barrick Gold last traded at C$21.11 on the Toronto Stock Exchange and have declined 44 per cent in the past 12 months.
In December, the Super Fund said it had excluded three Israeli companies from its portfolio on ethical grounds because of their involvement in illegal settlements and the security wall.
SOURCE:- By AAP